Pilgrim Hospital failing in providing medication appropriately

BOSTON’S Pilgrim Hospital is failing to meet basic standards in providing its patients with medication, a new report by the health watchdog has found.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found people were not being given drugs on time and some were not being given vital information about their treatment when they paid an unannounced visit to the hospital, which is still recovering from a damning investigation which found failings across the board.

In one case, a child was given a dose of medicine four hours late, despite the fact guidelines state that the effectiveness of the medicine reduces if it is just half an hour late.

In its inspection report published in July the CQC said: “People should be given the medicines they need when they need them, and in a safe way. The provider was not meeting this standard. People were not protected against the risks associated with medicines because the provider did not have appropriate arrangements in place to manage medicines. Medicines were not always kept safely.”

Inspectors found several people had not been informed about the medicine they were currently receiving or those which they were expected to take when discharged. One man was on a continuous fluid drip, but had no idea why. In the children’s ward they spoke to the parents of a ‘very poorly’ child who had not been given information about the drugs the child was receiving.

Some issues with recording medicines led to concerns that they were not being given out correctly, including one child receiving medicine several hours late.

On some wards, the room where medicine was stored could not be locked, meaning staff could not be sure of their security, and a lack of records showing temperature checks meant inspectors could not be sure they were being stored in the right manner.

Medicine swapping between wards was also evident, with staff saying they sometimes had to borrow drugs as the busy pharmacy could not always provide drugs on time.

Despite the criticisms, staff at United Lincolnshire Hositals NHS Trust, which runs Pilgrim, stressed the report showed positive steps.

A spokesman said: “We are pleased that the report reflects significant improvements made in the management of medicines since this outcome was last reviewed in 2011. However, we continue to work hard to ensure we deliver consistently high standards of care across all our services.”

She added that steps put in place to correct issues at the site include a new programme being introduced to help monitor clinical services, staff training has traken place, and a medicines safety group and management committee have been set up to ensure best practice.